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Author Topic: Bulging Brides
fs

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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2008 04:30      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm tired of talking about religion. (I can only take so much *headdesk* before it makes my brain hurt.)

So... I was catching up on some blog reading and Feministing had a post on the new reality TV show Bulging Brides.

I'm not a big reality TV fan. I admit to having an occasional sick fascination with America's Next Top Model (we can talk about that some other time) and MTV's Made (also another discussion for another time).

Bulging Brides seems to me a conglomeration of the worst possible messages we can be sending. It's like they sat down and said: "Come up with a show that will perpetuate all the most damaging beliefs about body image and package it." The basic premise is that women buy their wedding dress two sizes too small and then torture themselves to fit into it six weeks later. Because society says, if you are a woman, you don't deserve to be loved unless you are beautiful. And being thin is what's beautiful. And this show capitalizes on and reinforces those beliefs.


(So why put this here, instead of under reviews or something? Because I'd rather have a wider ranging discussion about social responsibility in entertainment, the influence of media on self image and social expectations, etc.)

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2008 05:54      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Social responsibility in entertainment?

Non-existant. We're too busy ensuring nobody says 'poop' on the air, and nobody sees a booby to ensure we aren't passing along the wrong messages about self-image, self-respect, decency, honesty, hard work, good ethic, etc.

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Stereo

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Icon 9 posted April 22, 2008 10:02      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The only responsibility entertainment moguls have is to make their investors happy by bringing in as much money they can. They do so by giving the average people what they like most: rising celebrities, and their crashes. The former allow the masses to dream that it may happen to them, someday, maybe; the latter help them feel better that their lives isn't up to their dreams. This way, the masses feel no need to work at self-improvement.

I can't help relate it to the story of a psychiatrist who prescribed a breast-"enhancement" surgery to a 16-year-old girl because "it would cost less than treat her self-esteem problem". Did he ever thought that once she gets the big breasts, after the "boy who digs big boobies" moved to the next girl, she could find out she still have personnal issues? But what she has learned is that she just have to blame some part of her body for her unhappiness, and she'll want some other surgery to solve it. Repeat ad nauseam. Litterally. But instead, his solution is "get her off my office with a quick bandage, and let someone else deal with her messy self later on."

Quick fixes and no moral involvement: it plagues more than the entertainment industry.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2008 15:21      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fs:
Because society says, if you are a woman, you don't deserve to be loved unless you are beautiful. And being thin is what's beautiful.

One of the aussie 'lads' magazines did some audience research recently, they showed a series of pictures of women ranging from size 8 to 14, and asked their readers (or should I say 'viewers'?) which body type they preferred, size 14 won easily.

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2008 03:01      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by fs:
Because society says, if you are a woman, you don't deserve to be loved unless you are beautiful. And being thin is what's beautiful.

One of the aussie 'lads' magazines did some audience research recently, they showed a series of pictures of women ranging from size 8 to 14, and asked their readers (or should I say 'viewers'?) which body type they preferred, size 14 won easily.
Yeah, if you compare men's magazines with women's magazines, the women are much healthier looking in men's magazines.

I don't know why models at the extreme low end are used to advertise to women. Maybe to impress on them that they aren't beautiful the way they are and need all the help they can get, and therefore should buy whatever clothing/makeup/hair care product the model is advertising?

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geekygoddess
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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2008 04:21      Profile for geekygoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think that as we get older we focus less on being a size 4 or 6 again. Most women in my age bracket (mid thirties) just want to be active and healthy. If you feel good, you usually look good as well. It's all a state of mind (IMO) [Big Grin]

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2008 07:48      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I never was into the whole size 0 phenomenon personally.

The bruises you can get from a hip bone during...

You get my point.

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2008 11:29      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by geekygoddess:
I think that as we get older we focus less on being a size 4 or 6 again. Most women in my age bracket (mid thirties) just want to be active and healthy. If you feel good, you usually look good as well. It's all a state of mind (IMO) [Big Grin]

Oh, I don't know. I've met plenty of women in their mid-30s that are shelling out cash for Weight Watchers and Slimfast and Atkins and whatever other diet scheme someone can come up with, or getting lipo or buying overpriced exercise equipment that promises flat abs in 10 minutes a day. I'd like to think that women suddenly develop a healthy body image and reject all that crap in their mid-30s, but I have a feeling the women you are thinking of are the exceptions rather than the rule.

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 10 posted April 25, 2008 13:57      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by geekygoddess:
I think that as we get older we focus less on being a size 4 or 6 again.

Again? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Good one! [Happytears] [Applause] I don't think I've been able to fit in anything near that size since I was seven years old.

/me is pretty happy with her size 16 body [Smile]

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted April 25, 2008 20:02      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good for you, Peebs. I read Jennifer Weiner's book, "Good in Bed," the other day. The main character was all hung up over her size 16 body, but she biked and walked everywhere! I thought, girl, if you're able to do that, then you have nothing to complain about.

Re: the thread title. Did anyone else expect that it was about pregnant brides, not those who bought the wrong size dress?

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 02:01      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
The main character was all hung up over her size 16 body, but she biked and walked everywhere! I thought, girl, if you're able to do that, then you have nothing to complain about.

Exactly! Here's a clip from the show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jLeRmbBoYQ

How many dress sizes does that girl really need to lose before she's the right size?

But in your example, I do think that size 16 character has something to complain about. How about everything in our society that tells her despite being healthy, she's too big, that she'd be pretty, if she just lost a few pounds...

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geekygoddess
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 05:42      Profile for geekygoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What??? She looks fine to me. Society is a bitch and most people I believe would rather be smaller because they say we need to be. (self included, but has given up) Think about it, how else to support the multimillion dollar industry???

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maximile

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 10:28      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fs:
...The basic premise is that women buy their wedding dress two sizes too small and then torture themselves to fit into it six weeks later. Because society says, if you are a woman, you don't deserve to be loved unless you are beautiful.

I'm a bit confused here. It seems to me that the people most to blame are the big women obsessively trying to lose weight.

I mean, everyone sees models who are "better-looking" than them all the time. Society praises them, and occasionally we feel pressure to look more like them. But I'd imagine that it would be much more disheartening if loads of people who were a similar weight to me were all displeased with the way they looked.

I do think that the media should take some responsibility, and from what I can tell they do. In women's magazines, celebrities are criticised way more often for being unhealthily thin than too fat. But while the media sets 'ideals' for how we should look, as soon as someone starts obsessing over their appearance, I'd say it's their fault and not the media's.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 10:54      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zl6hNj1uOkY

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 27, 2008 04:03      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by maximile:
I do think that the media should take some responsibility, and from what I can tell they do. In women's magazines, celebrities are criticised way more often for being unhealthily thin than too fat.

In the same magazines that are bursting at the seams with advertisements that show unhealthily thin airbrushed models. Either way, those magazines are hypocrites.

quote:
Originally posted by maximile:
But while the media sets 'ideals' for how we should look, as soon as someone starts obsessing over their appearance, I'd say it's their fault and not the media's.

That's an interesting point. Let me clarify what you are saying though, are you talking about the individual being responsible for their own personal unhappiness by buying into the ideals, or are you saying that by buying into the ideals, the people who they damage the most are perpetuating them? Or both? (Or neither.)

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 27, 2008 04:10      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zl6hNj1uOkY

That was really cool. (Even though it is YouTube, which I hate.)

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted April 27, 2008 05:19      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by maximile:
I'm a bit confused here. It seems to me that the people most to blame are the big women obsessively trying to lose weight.

There's actually a really big (no pun intended) grassroots effort in fat acceptance. There are NAAFA and NOLOSE that I can recall right off the top of my head. I've been reading Big Fat Deal Blog and Fatshionista lately. Kate Harding's Shapely Prose is really awesome, as is The Rotund.

It's been challenging for me to accept that I have a mental image of the ideal woman that more closely subscribes to the streamlined images put forth by the popular media. It's hard for me to look at a woman who's bulging and lumpy and not critique her appearance. I think part of that is due to the environment in which I was raised (very image-conscious and critical), but the other part is due to women's natural urge to compare and contrast.

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maximile

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Icon 1 posted April 27, 2008 15:59      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fs:
Let me clarify what you are saying though, are you talking about the individual being responsible for their own personal unhappiness by buying into the ideals, or are you saying that by buying into the ideals, the people who they damage the most are perpetuating them? Or both? (Or neither.)

I think it's both - that if someone has image problems, it's predominately their responsibility (with exceptions, like when it's been drummed into them from an early age). And also that by treating it like such a problem, they make it worse for people in similar situations.

Not that I'm saying that anyone should feel bad for wanting to change themselves - I think that's awesome, whether people want to be fatter, thinner, full of metal or ink or silicone or whatever - just that I think that there's a tendency for people to make such a big deal about weight loss that they risk making others lose self esteem. And it's quite possible that those responsible are people you know and respect, which would have much more impact for me than anything the media could do.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 27, 2008 17:05      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think fs hit the nail on the head with this comment...

quote:
Originally posted by fs:
the women are much healthier looking in men's magazines.

The key word is 'healthy'.

As a general rule, healthy == attractive, evolution programmed us that way.

There's a far greater range of healthy body-shapes than the womens magazines and celebrity-chasers would have us believe. If you're fat or thin enough to be getting lectures from your doctor, then by all means do something about it, but don't make your life a misery trying to fit into the clothes you wore in high school.

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